The inaugural Breakout 8 Writers Prize, sponsored by Epiphany and The Authors Guild, seeks to recognize outstanding emerging literary voices and bring visibility to the writers of our future by honoring eight student authors.
From hundreds of submissions by graduate and undergraduate poets and writers, our judges—Hannah Tinti, Alexander Chee, and Tracy O’Neill—chose eight honorees who will receive publication in Epiphany’s Breakout Eight special issue; a $250 cash prize; a year-long mentorship with Epiphany editor-in-chief Tracy O'Neill; a complimentary one-year student membership to the Authors Guild, including free access to seminars, webinars, and the writers’ resource library; a featured interview published on the Epiphany website, in the Authors Guild Bulletin, and on the Authors Guild website; a one-year subscription to Epiphany; and a short manuscript review.
Congratulations to our first ever Breakout 8 Writers Prize honorees:
Yuxi Lin is a Chinese-American poet living in New York. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Washington Post, Spilled Milk, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Southern Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She graduated from Davidson College and is currently an MFA candidate at New York University, where she received the Lillian Vernon Fellowship.
Jiaming Tang is a Brooklyn-based writer of queer immigrant fiction. His interests lie in representing marginalized experience through allegory and unconventional storytelling. He studies creative writing at Purchase College, SUNY.
Alisson Wood’s prose and poetry have been published in places including The New York Times, Catapult, and Dovetail. She is the founder of Pigeon Pages, a woman-run Brooklyn reading series and online literary journal. Currently, Alisson is a candidate for an MFA in fiction at NYU. She is at work on a memoir.
Amber Wheeler Bacon lives, writes and teaches on the coast in South Carolina. She is an MFA candidate in the Bennington Writing Seminars and is on the board of directors of the South Carolina Writers Association. She’s currently working on a story collection and a novel. This is her first publication.
Marc Castel de Lucas is a second-year undergraduate at the University of California-Berkeley studying literature in Spanish, English, and French. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, he studied at the University of Alabama (where he placed first in the University's Creative Writing Contest as a first-year) and worked at the Mayor of San Francisco's Office of Education, the Office of the Mayor of Oakland, and the Felony Division of the Office of the San Francisco District Attorney. He is of Spanish and American citizenship, upbringing, ancestry, and heritage, and intends to work within the field of Spanish-English primary school education, ideally as a teacher of literature and philosophy in a bilingual high school.
Rasheeda Saka is currently an undergraduate at Princeton University studying English literature with minors in creative writing and spanish. In the past, she has studied fiction with Neel Mukherjee, Angela Flournoy, and Kirstin Quade.
Edith Lee grew up in New Zealand and is now in her final year at Colorado College. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing.
Amy Lee Lillard is a writer and editor based in Des Moines, Iowa. Her fiction has appeared in Atlas and Alice and Home is Elsewhere: The Berlin Writing Prize 2017 Winners Anthology. She holds an MA in literature from Northwestern University, and will complete her MFA in fiction writing from the Pan-European Program at Cedar Crest College in 2018. She has been a professional advertising and communications writer in Chicago and Des Moines for nearly two decades.
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Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. His essay collection, How to Write An Autobiographical Novel, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2018. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared most recently in The New York Times Magazine, T, Tin House, and Best American Essays 2016, among others. He is an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He lives in New York City and Bradford, VT. Photo credit: M. Sharkey
Hannah Tinti is the author of the bestselling novel The Good Thief, which won The Center for Fiction's first novel prize, and the story collection Animal Crackers, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her new novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, is an Indie-Next bestseller and has been optioned for television. She teaches creative writing at New York University's MFA program and co-founded the Sirenland Writers Conference. Tinti is also the co-founder and executive editor of One Story magazine, which won the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, and the PEN/Magid Award for Excellence in Editing. You can find her @hannahtinti. Photo credit: Honorah Tinti
Tracy O'Neill is the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature's Best Novels of 2015. The same year, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, Scoundrel Time, Guernica, Bookforum, Electric Literature, Grantland, Vice, The Guardian, VQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her column Body Language appears in Catapult. She holds an MFA in fiction from the City College of New York and an MA in communications from Columbia University. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany. Photo credit: Oskar Miarka
Epiphany is a nonprofit literary journal published in print twice per year. We are interested in risk-taking work, and though we've published well-established writers like Elena Ferrante and Patricia Smith, we are especially open to writers whose explorations of new territory may not yet have found validation elsewhere. In the first year of the PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize for Debut Fiction, a story from the magazine, "A Message" by Ruth Serven, was awarded the honor. Our contributors have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the National Book Award.
The Authors Guild has been the nation’s most trusted resource for working writers since 1912, advocating on behalf of all authors, and offering guidance, advice, and community in the form of professional support, education about the legal and business sides of writing, and networking opportunities. As the largest and oldest community of professional writers, the Guild is committed to providing lifelong support to authors of all stripes as they move through multiple stages of their careers. Whether it’s landing a first book contract, negotiating royalties, reclaiming rights, or learning how to market one’s books, the Guild stands by its members, helping to ensure a sustainable future for every author. The Authors Guild has spent over a 100 years advocating for the rights of authors, protecting copyright, defending free speech, and ensuring fair pay. Its advocacy work is on the front lines of the fight to guarantee writers can continue to have the creative freedom that comes with the ability to earn a living wage, and can continue to produce the diversity of books that free expression makes possible.
Alisson Wood's photo courtesy of Kevin Kelley
Amy Lee Lillard's photo courtesy of CB Photography